New “watch area” in the Atlantic Ocean near Barbados

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – While we have experienced the heat, humidity, and typical summer storms here in Kansas City, things have been unusually calm in the tropical Atlantic.

No named storm has formed in this part of the world since Elsa cleared on July 9 over the northeastern United States. That kind of quiet stretch at this time of year hasn’t happened since the 2009 season.

NOAA has released its updated forecast for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, saying the tropics will wake up again, and that this could be one of many more storms as we move through the peak of the season. hurricanes.

It is likely that we will see the next named storm in the Atlantic as early as tonight.

View of the Atlantic Ocean from this afternoon. The “area to watch” is circled in yellow. Credit: COD Meteorology

An area of ​​low pressure continues to form as it drifts north and west, approaching Barbados. This can impact several landmasses in the Caribbean and possibly the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 1 pm today gave this “watch area” an 80% chance of forming in the next 48 hours, indicating that a new tropical storm could form as early as tonight. The next named storm (which would be called “Fred”) could arrive soon.

And a few hours later, the NHC went ahead and named this “watch area” Potential Tropical Cyclone 6 (PTC 6), which is one step closer to tropical storm status.

As was the case with Elsa in July, the possible nomination of “Fred” will be well ahead of the average schedule:

Planned trajectory of PTC 6 issued by NHC this afternoon

PTC 6 expected to maintain this north-northwest heading. Residents of the Lesser Antilles, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Haiti will really need to be careful with tropical storm conditions as the preparation time will be shorter than normal.

If this path continues, impacts to Florida or other Gulf Coast states are possible.

We will continue to keep you updated on the evolution of this developing storm as it crosses the Caribbean and nears the United States.

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